First and Last (1989)

TV Movie   |  Comedy, Drama


A retired man decides to fulfill his life-time ambition and walk the length of Britain from Land's End to John O'Groats. The film centres around the "discovery" of himself, the relationship... See full summary »


8.2/10
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14 November 2014 | Prismark10
9
| A stroll across the land
Joss Ackland plays elderly, retired Alan Holly who suddenly embarks to walk from Land's End to John O'Groats. His family are puzzled as to why he has decided to do this and encounters all sorts of people in his journey while also taking time to reflect on his life. The film is written by Michael Frayn.

Joss Ackland has admitted that this is one of his favourite roles, yet it was also tinged with sadness. He took over the part at short notice as original choice, Ray McAnally died part way through filming.

I guess it shows in the performance as Holly comes across as slightly reticent, bemused and lost. Even rather distant at times. We are never sure whether its Ackland trying to get to grips with the part where he presumably has had little time to prepare for or this is how his character is to behave.

Despite this the film is a little gem. It is a humorous drama, peppered with some witty lines. Its also now a reflection of Britain in the late 1980s. Sadly this drama has been little seen since its original broadcast.

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